5 Minutes to Live

By: Sahar El-Hodiri
By: Sahar El-Hodiri

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In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control.

In as little as three minutes a fire in your home can kill you. It's critical to know what to do and what not to do now, so if there's ever a fire in your home, you can get out alive.

Two to three minutes, that's all the time you have to get out of your house if there's a fire.

Sedgwick County Fire Chief Rick Brazill says, "I have had some folks tell me 'well, I can be out of my house in 30 seconds' and I don't doubt that in ideal conditions. Night time, in the dark, a house full of smoke and heat you're not gonna get out that fast."

Minute 1: the fire starts. But you might not know it.

Minute 2: your smoke detector goes off. You wake up to complete darkness.

You may think the flames are the most dangerous part of a fire but they're not. It's actually the smoke and the heat. Toxic gases in the smoke can disorient or kill you.

Remember to cover your mouth to keep from breathing in hot, thick smokey air. Crawl low, under the smoke. The temperature can be 100 degrees at floor level, 600 degrees at eye level.

Minute 3: get out quickly. Take the safest exit route.

Minute 4: after you get out, call 911. Remember, escape first and never go back into a burning building.

Minute 5: it's too late. Everything can ignite at once.

Remember, a house fire can become a killer in as little as three minutes. You should have a fire escape plan, and practice it twice a year.


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